Derry~Londonderry~Doire Race 4 Start ( Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)

Derry~Londonderry~Doire Race 4 Start ( Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)

Derry~Londonderry~Doire is diverting to Hobart in Tasmania for a medevac of an injured crewman as a precautionary measure.

Skipper Daniel Smith contacted the Race Office at 1030 AEDT today (2330 UTC Tuesday 8 December) to report that round-the-world crew member Michael Gaskin, 54, from the West Midlands, UK, had sustained suspected broken ribs after he fell by the helming position when a wave broke over the back of the yacht in rough seas and 35 knots wind, approximately 130 nautical miles to the southwest of Tasmania.

Team Medics Ali Boeree and Jan Chatzis administered first aid while the Skipper contacted ClipperTelemed+, the Clipper Race remote telemedicine service. Doctors at the Praxes operations centre in Halifax, Canada, confirmed diagnosis and directed the provision of pain relief and anti-nausea medication.

Due to the proximity of Hobart and the rough conditions, the Skipper has decided to divert as a precaution so that Michael can be treated ashore. The team will continue the race to Sydney once Michael has been transferred to hospital.

Mike Gaskin (Photo © onEdition)

Mike Gaskin (Photo © onEdition)
Clipper crew member Mike Gaskin

“The Skipper reports that Mike is in a stable condition and is receiving pain relief,” explained Race Director Justin Taylor. “The conditions were quite challenging at the time. Mike was clipped on behind the high side helm. The low side helm took over to allow Mike to step in. A breaking wave broke over the side of cockpit and Mike says he hit the pushpit and heard his ribs crunch. He was then washed into the A frame and sustained a small cut to his head. He was stopped by his safety tether. This was the first breaking wave into the boat the team had experienced, although they had a lot of spray.”

Water breaking over the deck is very powerful. A cubic metre of water weighs a metric tonne.

This is the first medevac of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, the tenth edition of the biennial global series, the world’s longest ocean race at more than 40,000 miles, taking 11 months to race between six continents. Only a handful of the 3300 amateur sailors who have participated over the last 19 years have had to be evacuated, the majority as a precaution following medical treatment aboard.

Michael’s next of kin has been informed. Everyone else aboard is safe and well.

Michael is an experienced yachtsman, holding a Day Skipper qualification and had previously sailed around Scotland, the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean.

The yacht is estimated to reach Hobart around 1000 AEDT tomorrow (Thursday) morning 10 December (2300 UTC 9 December).

Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew in Albany (Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)


Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew in Albany (Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)

 Race one of the Clipper 15-16 Race gets underway from Southend, UK to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ( Photo Copyright onEdition 2015©)

Race one of the Clipper 15-16 Race gets underway from Southend, UK to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ( Photo Copyright onEdition 2015©)

Close competitive racing in the first leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race from London to Rio has been overshadowed this week by the death of a crew member in what appears to be a tragic accident.

Having safely navigated the Bay of Biscay, increasing wind speeds propelled the fleet along the Portuguese coast. But as the team aboard IchorCoal put in a reef to reduce sail area one of the crew was knocked unconscious and failed to recover despite immediate medical assistance and expert remote guidance.

Andy Ashman, a paramedic from South East London was an experienced sailor and described as being typical of the ‘Corinthian’ Clipper Race spirit. He was an inspiration to the rest of his team of amateur sailors from all walks of life.

This was the first fatality in the 19-year history of the race which has trained over 3300 people to participate safely in nine previous editions of the biennial global event.

The news of the incident was received soberly across the fleet and tributes were paid by many who had trained alongside Andrew.

Messages of support from his family and friends encouraged the team to continue as it is ‘what Andy would have wanted’.

While the team aboard IchorCoal went ashore at Porto, in northern Portugal, the Clipper Race fleet paid their respects, flew their Red Ensigns at half mast, and raced on as the most fitting tribute.

At the front of the fleet the duel continued between GREAT Britain and LMAX Exchange. But the two have now split with LMAX Exchange taking a clear lead of more than 160 nautical miles closer to the finish in Rio after taking better winds further east, racing through the Canary Islands and then close to the West Saharan coast.

The leaderboard has seen some considerable changes over the last 24 hours, as the teams made their tactical decisions on whether to pass between the Canary Islands and take more of an inshore route, or leave them to port.

Get it wrong and you are caught in the wind shadow of the huge volcanic mountains that extend for more than 100 miles out to sea, creating a major headache as the Skippers seek out the more steady Trade Winds.

The Northern Irish entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire is neck-and-neck with GREAT Britain further west, but they could be overtaken by Qingdao and Garmin hoping to copy the LMAX Exchange manoeuvre through the Canaries.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire led the race for a time on Tuesday. Skipper Daniel Smith explained:The day was spent gybing down a narrow band of wind trying to keep the boat moving and achieve the best speeds downwind. By 1800UTC we got the result we were looking for. For the first time since leaving the Thames we were back in first place.

“This was a great achievement from the crew despite them knowing it probably wouldn’t last for long. LMAX Exchange has put itself further east, and was approaching a band of stronger steadier winds. Our plan of squeezing through west of Madeira hadn’t worked out as well as we’d hoped due to the wind strength decreasing.

“We are continuing to fight our way south into what should be an ever-increasing wind, keeping an eye on the positions of more easterly yachts and hoping that they don’t all manage to slot in in front of us.”

The fleet is spread over some 500 nautical miles with around 4000 nautical miles of racing still ahead of it.

In Porto the team of IchorCoal was met by Clipper Race officials led by founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

After time to reflect they came to the unanimous joint decision to continue racing and return to sea as soon as possible.

Andrew’s brother Keith Ashman flew out to reinforce the family’s support for the team’s decision and waved them off as they headed out to resume racing.

IchorCoal team (Photo ©OnEdition)

IchorCoal team (Photo ©OnEdition)

On the broad transom at the stern of their 70-foot ocean racing yacht the team wrote “For Andy. Roger that!” One of Andy’s favourite responses.

The team has been awarded redress for the incident to compensate the time lost. The Race Committee has decided to award a time redress of 81 hours and 1 minute to IchorCoal.  This is calculated on the time from the accident until the yacht commenced racing of 85 hours and 52 minutes, less the time the yacht gained by re-starting 41.2 miles further along the race course, which, at their average speed at the time of the accident of 8.7 knots, is 4 hours and 51 minutes.

This 81 hours and 1 minute will be deducted from IchorCoal’s finishing time in Rio de Janeiro to give the team’s overall position on Race 1.

As a lasting tribute the Atlantic Ocean Sprint, a short section of the race track off the Brazilian coast where extra points are awarded for the fastest team between two points, will be named in Andy’s honour. The fastest team will receive a special trophy, the ‘Andy Ashman Memorial Plate’ in Rio and it will continue to be awarded in future editions of the Clipper Race.

As at 1400 UTC (1500 UK/BST) the fleet positions were as follows:

1 LMAX Exchange – 3542 nM to finish
2 GREAT Britain
3 Derry~Londonderry~Doire
4 Garmin
5 Qingdao
6 Da Nang – Viet Nam
7 ClipperTelemed
8 Unicef
9 PSP Logistics
10 Visit Seattle
11 + Mission Performance
12 IchorCoal

IchorCoal team resumes racing after saying a prayer for lost crewmate. (Photo © OnEdition)

IchorCoal team resumes racing after saying a prayer for lost crewmate. (Photo © OnEdition)

Belfast Telegraph Breidge Boyle Day 9

Belfast Telegraph Breidge Boyle Day 9

 

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

The synoptic situation is very complicated for the fleet, currently in the middle of four different weather systems of weak pressure gradients and light winds that need to be negotiated.

Amidst the changeable conditions, this kind of weather is very hard to predict meaning that a lot of the current tactical play is gut instinct combined with guesswork to try and cross the ridge.

There is also a blocking high pressure system sitting just west of Ireland that remains in place and will cause the fleet a significant detour either north or east.

Current leader Jamaica Get All Right, who has came out of Stealth Mode still in first position, has headed further north with a north/south divide starting to occur amongst the fleet as the boats try and get in the best position to deal with the difficult conditions.

Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, currently in sixth, said: “The next few days will be very interesting in this race as we see the different boats’ tactics as we all leave one weather system and face decisions of the best course to follow as we will no longer be able to sail directly towards the finish. Already you can see boats taking different courses, trying to be in the best position when the wind shifts.”

Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, in tenth, added: “Our easterly course saw us plummet down the leaderboard which coupled with not going very far over the last few hours is slightly depressing, though the whole fleet should have light airs to contend with at some time or another over the next 24 hours.”

 

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.

Due tofour differentweather systemsaffecting the fleet in the 2850 mile transatlantic crossing, the current leader Jamaica Get All Right, if it maintains an average speed of 7 knots, is expected to arrive in Derry-Londonderry midday on Monday 23 June. The rest of the fleet is expected to arrive by late Tuesday 24 June.

Race Director, Justin Taylor, explains the synoptic systems which are affecting the fleet’s progress:The weather is very complicated at the moment with four different weather systems affecting the fleet.  There is low pressure over the Iberian Peninsula and also a low north west of this centred south of Greenland.

“There is high pressure south west of the fleet and of course high pressure to the north east over Ireland which is giving the UK warm weather at the moment.  The fleet is generally sandwiched between all four systems where there is light fluky wind and probably will be so for at least a further 24 to 36 hours.  This will produce low boat speeds.  As they head further

PSP Logistics San Francisco to Panama 100 Race start  leg 7 Race 11

PSP Logistics San Francisco to Panama 100 Race start leg 7 Race 11

AFTER A SPECTACULAR SEND-OFF FROM SAN FRANCISCO, USA THE 12 STRONG FLEET COMPETING IN THE CLIPPER 2013-14 RACE PULLED NO PUNCHES AS THE 3,300 MILE RACE TO PANAMA GOT OFF TO A FLYING START. 

With Derry~Londonderry~DoireHenri Lloyd and Old Pulteney first across the start line for Race 11, it wasn’t long before PSP Logistics made its move eager to make an impression and secure a win in its title race. Skipper of PSP Logistics, Chris Hollis which currently lies in second place behind Old Pulteney knows all too well the pressure is on: 
“Today see’s us on our way to Panama in Race 11, which has being named by our sponsor, the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup. Needless to say, we want to do very well in the race for obvious reasons. By the time we were under the Golden Gate Bridge and heading out to sea we had over taken four boats.”Although the Northern Irish entry took an early lead, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire Sean McCarter was far from impressed by his teams initial start in Race 11. Sean explains in today’s skipper report:“Our departure today was less than straight forward. With crowds cheering from the dock, we proceeded to bounce our way out of the marina in a very erratic manner. I was worried the Coastguard might want to breathalyse me but I can honestly confirm that as the tide was fully out, the keel was gently ploughing through the muddy bottom and making manoeuvring very tricky!”
“After the embarrassing departure, we knew we had to redeem ourselves at the start. The largely new crew (11 joiners) pulled together really well with the seasoned round the world crew and we managed to win the start and lead out under the Golden Gate Bridge which was fantastic for all aboard (and all our fans who were unlucky enough to witness our departure!)”

Team Garmin at the start of Race 11 in San Photo by Francisco_Abner Kingman Abner Kingman 2014©

Team Garmin at the start of Race 11 in San Photo by Francisco_Abner Kingman Abner Kingman 2014©

With just four miles now separating the top three leading boats, Old PulteneyPSP Logistics and Derry~Londonderry~Doire respectively, all eyes will be on the Race Viewer to see how the tactics in Race 11 will play out over the next few weeks. To read all the skipper reports click here

SKIPPER REPORTS
Sean McCarter
Derry~ Londonderry~ Doire
Simon Talbot
GREAT Britain
Simon Talbot
Henri Lloyd
Rich Gould
Invest Africa
Pete Stirling
Jamaica Get All Right
Matt Mitchell
Mission Performance
Patrick van der Zijden
Old Pulteney
Olly Cotterell
One DLL
Chris Hollis
PSP Logistics
Gareth Glover
Qingdao
Vicky Ellis
Switzerland
20clipper.jpg.article.jpg
Team Garmin
View all Skipper reports
VIEW LATEST RACE STANDINGS

 

 

VIEW THIS BLOG VIEW ALL CREW BLOGS

Derry~Londonderry~Doire at the start of Race 4 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Cape Town, South Africa

British Man Rescued after falling overboard on Derry~Londonderry~Doire

A British man was rescued from the Pacific Ocean in the early hours of this morning after falling overboard during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew member, Andrew Taylor (46) from London went over the side at 00.43 BST last night in rough weather and was sighted again at 01.55 BST before being recovered at approx. 02.13 BST this morning (13.13 local time, 30 March).

The incident happened in rough weather with 35 knots of wind and clear visibility, during a sail change in daylight on day 14 of Race 10 in the 16 stage Clipper Race which is currently heading for San Francisco, USA from Qingdao, China.

The yacht’s professional Skipper Sean McCarter (32) from Derry Londonderry reported that he was working with Andrew on a sail change near the bow when he went over the side. Sean immediately went back to the helm, stopped the yacht and initiated the MOB (man overboard) procedure.

Race Director Justin Taylor explained: “In these conditions a man overboard is swept away from the boat very quickly and visual contact can be lost in the swell. We have a well-rehearsed procedure to mark the position, stop racing and engaged the engine to search for and recover the crew member as quickly as possible.

“An hour and a half is a very long time to be in the water in these conditions but a combination of his sea survival training and seven months at sea as well as wearing a life jacket and dry suit will have contributed enormously to his survival.”

Nearly 4,000 people have taken part in the event which includes an extensive pre-race training programme and the organisers are fully committed to safety and maintaining their excellent record.

“The sea can be a harsh environment and we rehearse every eventuality including a man overboard (MOB),” stated Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “The MOB procedures were put into practice flawlessly by the crew in difficult conditions. It is a tribute to their training and determination that Andrew was successfully recovered. It is always a concern when we have a major incident and we will want to analyse the circumstances in detail to see if there is anything we need to learn or review as a result.”

Following his recovery, Andrew was taken below decks for treatment by the on board medic, crew member Susie Redhouse (42) also from London, who is a paramedic clinical tutor. She reports he is suffering from shock and may have hypothermia. His condition is being monitored closely, but he appears to be in relatively good spirits and is talking with fellow crew members.
A competing team in the fleet of twelve identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts OneDLL responded to the mayday call and diverted course to render assistance as the closest yacht to Derry~Londonderry~Doire.  Falmouth and US Coast Guard services were contacted and have now been stood down. Both boats have resumed racing.

This is only the fourth ever incident in the Clipper Race’s eighteen year history that someone has had to be recovered from the water. In both previous incidents, the crew members were recovered within minutes.

Sea safety is a fundamental practice of the Clipper Race. Before joining their boats all crew members must complete an extensive, four stage sailing and sea safety training course, including sea survival. This includes highly detailed instruction and practice of man overboard (MOB) procedure. All yachts are equipped with special MOB dummies and regularly rehearse search and recovery practice throughout the race.

The Pacific leg, between China and the US, is the tenth of sixteen stages which comprise the world’s longest ocean race at more than 40,000 miles. The fleet is just over the half way stage of the 5,600 mile race to San Francisco. The first boats are expected to finish under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on 11 April. The Clipper 2013-14 Race left London on 1 September 2013 and returns to St Katharine Docks next to Tower Bridge on Saturday 12 July 2014.

AndrewTaylor

LD YACHT RACE
The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race started Sunday, 1 September from St Katharine Docks London, and will return almost a year later after completing the 40,000 miles route, making it the world’s longest ocean race.

The event was established in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing. 670 people representing more than 40 nations will compete in the Clipper 13-14 Race on twelve brand new 70-foot yachts designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro.

The overall race is divided into sixteen individual stages. Since leaving London, teams have raced via Brest, France, Rio de Janiero, Cape Town, Albany in Western Australia, Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Singapore, Hong Kong and Qingdao, China. After completing a brief stopover in San Francisco, the fleet will continue to Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry Londonderry and Dan Helder, The Netherlands. Points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Trophy.
www.clipperroundtheworld.com

CV24 skipper Vicky Ellis watches Jamaica and Invest Africa just after the start of Race 10.

CV24 skipper Vicky Ellis watches Jamaica and Invest Africa just after the start of Race 10.

And they’re off! The foggy conditions that have caused delay to the Race 10 re-start lifted enough by first light this morning, allowing teams to officially start this highly anticipated 5,600 mile race of mammoth proportion, to San Francisco, USA.


Jamaica Get All Right
 skipper Pete Stirling explained the race start, which took place at 08:50 local time (0050 UTC):  “After nearly two days of slowly making our way south east out of the Yellow Sea, the fog lifted this morning and lead skipper, Eric Holden of Henri Lloyd, organised a Le Mans start.

“There was a ten minute countdown and at one minute all the crews had to be behind the forward coffee grinder and the engine had to be off. On the gun all the crews rushed forward to get up their headsails. The wind conditions were quite light and from behind so the sail plan of choice was full mainsail, staysail and Yankee 1. Le Mans start rules dictate all boats must keep the same course and sail plan for the first ten minutes, after which they can do what they want.”

After a clean start, the fleet is currently passing beneath South Korea, just under 300 miles from the waypoint beneath Sata Misaki lighthouse on the southern tip of mainland Japan. Qingdao and Derry~Londonderry~Doire, currently lead the pack at time of press but as it is all very tightly packed, the leaderboard is likely to update regularly.

As the fleet turns north along the Japanese coastline, the Kuroshio Current or ‘Black Current’ (a strong north flowing current that appears a deeper blue than the sea through which it flows) will bring stronger, northerly winds, expected to both propel and challenge the teams as they approach the North Pacific Ocean. 

Race 10 includes an Ocean Sprint and Scoring Gate, allowing teams the chance to pick up bonus points along the course. All teams will also be entitled to two periods of Stealth Mode – once activated, that particular yachts position will be hidden from the Race Viewer for 24 hours for attempted tactical gain. 

PSP Logistics departed Qingdao this morning and are now motoring to the same re-start line. Their overall race performance will be based on elapsed time and not first over the line. Skipper Chris Hollis explained his teams thoughts:  “It’s very similar to when we left Albany (Race 5), when we started 36 hours behind the fleet, yet closed in to finish fourth fastest.

“The psychology makes it a little harder to race because you don’t have a boat next to you, but we will set our own gates to achieve time targets and race weather windows. We’re all looking forward to this trip. This is the big one, and we’re ready for it,” added Chris.

 To read all the skipper reports click here or choose individually below. 

 To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here

SKIPPER REPORTS
Sean McCarter
Derry~ Londonderry~ Doire
Simon Talbot
GREAT Britain
Simon Talbot
Henri Lloyd
Rich Gould
Invest Africa
Pete Stirling
Jamaica Get All Right
Matt Mitchell
Mission Performance
Patrick van der Zijden
Old Pulteney
Olly Cotterell
One DLL
Chris Hollis
PSP Logistics
Gareth Glover
Qingdao
Vicky Ellis
Switzerland
20clipper.jpg.article.jpg
Team Garmin

 

Derry~Londonderry~Doire rounds is the first to round the at the start of Race 2 of the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race, in Brest, France. (Photo copyright Clipper Ventures PLC)

Race 2 of leg 1  from BREST, FRANCE to  RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL STARTS TODAY
Today the Race 2 of Leg 1 got underway in Brest, France which will see the crews complete their first ocean crossing clocking up nearly 5,000 miles to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Henri Lloyd and skipper Eric Holden crossed the line first with GREAT Britain and followed by Derry~Londonderry~Doire closely behind on a close-hauled start.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire was first round the windward mark followed by Henri Lloyd and PSP Logistics and GREAT Britain opted to take a penalty 720 degree turn after touching the mark.

Legendary British yachtsman, Clipper Race Founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “The Doldrums is the area where Race 2 is likely to be decided. The teams will have to ensure they maintain concentration and keep the boat moving.

“Between the flat calms and the squalls, the lack of wind will be frustrating at times but how they perform at this stage of the race will be worth watching as it could make a big difference to the final positions.”

 

LATEST BOAT STANDINGS
POSITION / TEAM
DTL
DTF
DERRY-LONDONDERRY-DOIRE
4727M
GREAT BRITAIN
4728M
PSP LOGISTICS
4728M
HENRI LLOYD
4719M
OLD PULTENEY
4720M
JAMAICA GET ALL RIGHT
4720M
ONEDLL
4720M
QINGDAO
4720M
TEAM GARMIN
4722M
INVEST AFRICA
4722M
SWITZERLAND
4722M
MISSION PERFORMANCE
4723M

.

Start of Leg 1 Race 2 in Brest, France (Photo Copyright Clipper Ventures PLC)

Gold Coast Australia at the start of Race 5 from Geraldton, Western Australia to Tauranga, NZ, (Photo by Karl Monaghan/onEdition)

Gold Coast Australia at the start of Race 5 from Geraldton, Western Australia to Tauranga, NZ, (Photo by Karl Monaghan/onEdition)

With this morning’s confirmation of Gold Coast Australia’s eighth victory during the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, the battle for the final podium positions for Race 10, from Oakland to Panama.

“I am ecstatic with my crew’s performance in light fickle winds and extreme heat,” reveals Gold Coast Australia skipper, Richard Hewson, after his team crossed the finish line at 0844 UTC.

 “Gold Coast Australia sailed like true professionals over the past few days making the most of wind shifts and squeezing every drop of speed that Gold Coast Australia had to offer.

“I would like to congratulate the other yachts on their performance in such challenging conditions. The last few hours of the race dolphins guided us towards the finish line as we left a long trail of phosphorescence in our wake making it a near perfect finish,” continues Richard.
 
On Saturday, the Race Committee sent every skipper of the ten-strong fleet revised instructions for Race 10 which contained an anticipated shortening to the course.

“The Clipper Race Committee, chaired by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, shortened the course for Race 10 by selecting one of the pre-existing gates within the Course Instructions as the new finish line,” explains Race Director Joff Bailey.

“This line is perpendicular to the route and is long enough so that it does not adversely affect any team tactics.
 
“The Race Committee has taken this decision after it was advised by the Panama Canal Authorities that there would be shutdown period on the Panama Canal locks over the coming weeks and the lighter than expected wind strengths on this section of the race and the need to maintain the overall race schedule.”

Further to Saturday’s developments and after careful assessment of each team’s position the Race Committee decided yesterday (Monday) evening to finish the back markers of the fleet; Derry-Londonderry, Geraldton Western Australia, Singapore, New York, Qingdao and Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, using one of the earlier mandatory gates.

Derry-Londonderry beat Geraldton Western Australia to fifth place with just four minutes separating the two teams, while seventh and eighth place were secured by Singapore and New York respectively with Qingdao grabbing ninth place ahead of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital.

With Gold Coast Australia claiming victory the race for the final remaining positions of Race 10 are still up for grabs as Welcome to Yorkshire, De Lage Landen and Visit Finland continue to battle it out.
 
“We’re very excited about coming up to the finish line,” reports De Lage Landen, skipper Stuart Jackson.

“We have enjoyed the enthralling cat and mouse race we have been having with Visit Finland, Welcome to Yorkshire and Gold Coast Australia. Our thoughts will soon be turning to Panama and transiting the canal, a first for all on board.  In the meantime the final push is on to make sure our position is maintained for the next few hours.”

Hoping to come out on top in the final drag race to the line is Welcome to Yorkshire’s skipper, Rupert Dean.

“The suspense is palpable as Welcome to Yorkshire approaches the finish line. With just three yachts left in the race, precious little separation exists between De Lage Landen, Visit Finland and Welcome to Yorkshire.
 
“At the 0000 UTC report, Welcome to Yorkshire had taken third position from Visit Finland, by virtue of the stronger winds found in her southerly position. Can she do the same to De Lage Landen?”

After securing seventh place, Singapore skipper, Ben Bowley, is more than pleased with his crew’s performance.

“We had excellent breeze throughout the night which was a welcome respite from the windless day we’d endured yesterday. We made good progress thanks to this, and accurate trimming and helming, with the crew maintaining its focus throughout.
 
“Spirits rose considerably when we discovered that we were sixth after the other yachts (apart from
Welcome to Yorkshire) came out of Stealth Mode, and the sight of New York astern of us was a real boost to morale,” continues Ben.

“Both watches redoubled their efforts and gradually we watched New York recede into the horizon. 

“The email from the Race Office announcing that we had finished, and that we were seventh, was greeted with jubilation when it came in – and not a moment too soon as the wind almost as if on cue dropped away.
 
“After our time in tenth place and the struggles we had with the heat and windless conditions we are all pretty pleased to have kept going and got into seventh, and feel rewarded for our efforts.”
 
Gareth Glover, skipper of New York, was hoping to reduce the gap between his team and their Singapore rivals but had to settle with equalling their points haul for Race 10.

“After winning the Ocean Sprint we will come out of this race on the same points as Singapore, which will help on the overall standings. We now don’t need eight people for each watch and have put in a three watch system whist we are motoring and the next five days to Panama will be filled with maintenance and cleaning.
 
“After ourselves and Singapore went further north to pick up more wind we managed to overtake Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and Qingdao, but we were unable to hold off Singapore in the last six hours and in the night they just got a little more wind and crossed the line less than a few hours after 15 days of racing.

It was a photo finish in the battle for fifth place as Derry-Londonderry crossed the finish line just four minutes ahead of Geraldton Western Australia.

“A very good result, bearing in mind that we had slipped way back to tenth (from second) and fought our way back up in light and fluky wind conditions!” explains Mark Light, skipper of Derry-Londonderry.
 
“Now our concentration is switched to getting our boat safely and efficiently into Panama all ready for our transit thro the canal from the Pacific Ocean and into the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean)…yet another milestone!”

After a furious fight to the line Geraldton Western Australia, skippered by Juan Coetzer, had to settle for sixth place after a valiant fight with the Northern Ireland entry.

“After a slow days sailing and a beautiful sunset, the wind disappeared again. We sat stationary with our sails just flapping from side to side,” reports Juan.
 
“We even got the wind seeker out. Eventually some breeze filled in and we got ready to hoist a kite. ‘Ready on the bow, Ready at mast, Ready on sheets- Hoist away…..Aah that looks like the heavyweight… oops.’”
 
“So down came the heavyweight and up went the lightweight kite. Soon enough we were gliding through the water again. The race was shortened today and we reckon it may have been a photo finish; we were about 70 miles south of Derry-Londonderry.
 
“So engine checks were done, sails lowered and then we notice a bird sitting on the mast light. So Ian Geraghty was sent up to scare the bird away. This bird had some attitude and would not budge, but after some encouraging words, it flew away.”

The first teams are expected to reach Panama later this week where they will await their slot to pass through the canal before commencing Race 11 to New York.

 Positions at 1200 UTC, Tuesday 1 May 2012
 
Boat                      
1 Gold Coast Australia                    Finished
2 Welcome to Yorkshire                   Racing
3 De Lage Landen                             Racing
4 Visit Finland                                    Racing
5 Derry-Londonderry                     Finished
6 Geraldton Western Australia   Finished
7 Singapore                                        Finished
8 New York                                         Finished
9 Qingdao                                            Finished
10 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital     Finished